For his next start, Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is likely to make a Churchill Downs’ encore in the Grade 2, $400,000 Lukas Classic on Oct. 1.
Marty McGee of the Daily Racing Form reported that trainer Eric Reed intends the Lukas Classic as a prep for either the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 5 at Keeneland or the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25. In the May 7 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, pulled off the second-biggest upset in the race’s history when scoring at 80-1 for Rick Dawson’s RED TR-Racing.
Rich Strike most recently finished fourth behind winner Epicenter in the Travers (G1) on Aug. 27. Though he crossed the wire 5 1/2 lengths behind the winner, he finished only a neck out of second.
The Lukas Classic would be Rich Strike’s first start against older horses. Though the field is still coming together for the race, Rich Strike is likely to face 4-year-old Grade 1 winner Hot Rod Charlie. Like Rich Strike, Hot Rod Charlie is no stranger to outrunning his odds, as he finished second to Essential Quality in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at 94.4-1 odds.
Hot Rod Charlie most recently finished third behind Life Is Good in the Whitney (G1). Hot Rod Charlie has worked three times since the Whitney, including a bullet five-furlong breeze in 58.4 seconds on Sept. 3 at Keeneland.
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